Potential for Iran attacks 'put on hold'

Sec Def Shanahan: Threat for Potential Attacks by Iran ‘Remains High’

Pentagon Chief Claims US Has Put Iranian "Threat" on Hold With Its Actions

Historically tense relations between Washington and Tehran worsened in May after US President Donald Trump hardened his anti-Iran stance and restored all sanctions on Iranian oil exports following his decision a year ago to pull the United States out of a 2015 worldwide nuclear accord with Tehran.

Shanahan said he's confident they have deterred attacks against American forces "based on our reposturing of assets".

Patrick Shanahan, acting U.S. Secretary of Defense, said Tuesday the U.S. received "credible intelligence" in early May about threats to U.S. forces and interests in the middle east.

The Trump administration is set to brief lawmakers Tuesday afternoon on what it alleged was evidence purporting to back its claims of a heightened threat posed by Tehran. Over the past several weeks the US has sent an aircraft carrier and other resources to the Persian Gulf region, and evacuated nonessential personnel from Iraq, amid unspecified threats the administration says are linked to Iran. "We're in the region to address many things, but it is not to go to war with Iran".

"This is about deterrence, not about war. I would consider that a hold". Since then, the US has rolled out strict sanctions created to cut Iran's oil exports and recently deployed, ahead of schedule, the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Persian Gulf in response to allegations that Iran and its allies were planning to target USA interests, charges Zarif has denied. Democrats also invited former State Department official and top negotiator of the Iran nuclear deal, Wendy Sherman, to join Brennan in the briefing.

Pompeo, who has been an Iran hawk since he served in the House, made only a general comment that the administration officials had discussed their "strategic campaign" in the briefings.

Despite Trump's decision to withdraw, the poll showed 61% of Americans still supported the 2015 deal between Iran and world powers to curb Iran's potential pathway to a nuclear bomb in return for sanctions relief.

Trump told reporters as he departed the White House for an event in Pennsylvania that he was willing to have talks with Iran "when they're ready" but no discussions were going on now.

After the Senate meeting, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said they had told lawmakers the recent attacks on shipping and a pipeline in the Middle East were directed by the Iranian government and that USA officials had detected worrisome communication between Tehran and a Shi'ite militia that prompted the military to quickly relocate an aircraft carrier.

Recently nominated Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan took questions from the press Tuesday morning outside the Pentagon and provided insight on increasingly tense diplomatic relations between the Trump administration and the Iranian regime.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said he wants answers on "what the administration's strategy is - if they have one - to keep us out of war".

Brennan told Democrats that while Iran wants to avoid conflict, the country's leadership will not capitulate to Trump.

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